Love for Western Civilization Leads to Strong Border Security
Pres. Donald Trump, speaking in Poland June 6, 2017, affirmed his belief in defending Western civilization. In that speech, he summed up his views by stressing the love of freedom. He said, "And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom[.] ... Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization[.] ... We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God." It was essentially an updated reiteration of the rights theme of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" found in our Declaration of Independence.
To this writer, the simple sentence that introduced the above remarks was never fully developed, yet it was the key to the entire speech. Trump said, "Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield – it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls." This suggests an additional dimension of inquiry that goes farther than, but includes, the ideas and ideals captured in the Declaration of Independence. Those ideas and ideals grew within a philosophical, legal, theological, and historical framework where mind, soul, and will were understood in such a way that only life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness could satisfy them. To understand the dimension of mind, soul, and will, students of history must understand much more than the Declaration of Independence. That lovely document is but the tip of the iceberg of almost 2,000 years of Western civilization that preceded it. And it is only one of many currents of thought that sustain us.
At the same time as Trump was extolling Western civilization in Poland, many American colleges and universities have abandoned having a Western civilization course requirement in their curricula. The fascists, the socialists, the communists, and their allies – the atheist existentialists and deconstructionists in philosophy – have been successful in attacking the assumptions and principles of Western civilization and rejecting not only life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but the foundational understandings of mind, soul, language, and will upon which they rest. Consider all the amazing and complex threads preceding the Declaration that we are ignoring in much of our education system.
We have lost the glorious picture of the evolution of the fall of Rome; the strengthening of the medieval Catholic Church through many councils that affirmed theological principles that are still accepted by Catholics and Protestants; the struggle against Islam beginning in the 7th century and continuing until this very day, the amazing evolution of medieval philosophy under the auspices of the Catholic Church; the survival of the West through the Black Plague; the heroic defense of the West by Charles ("The Hammer") Martel, the educational reforms and defense of Christendom by Charlemagne and Louis IX; the prolonged struggle between the monarchies of Europe and the papacy for pre-eminence; and the early, middle, and late Renaissance. Would it not be valuable to read Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince when evaluating the behavior of Sen. Charles Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi? Trump mentioned that beautiful symphonies were written in the West (implying that they were not from Asia, Africa, or South America), but he only scratched the surface. In Western civilization, one finds the growth and development of "rights theories" beginning with the Magna Carta and extending in England and later Great Britain to the Declaration of Rights, about 100 years before our Bill of Rights. The West also is the origin of the scientific revolution, which has been a boon to our health, nutrition, transportation, communication, and prosperity.
Further, with our own country having been founded by Protestants, it is of utmost importance for all college-age students (and preferably high school students in a less detailed way) to know the history and socio-political dynamics of the Protestant Reformation. God's grace and mercy became accessible to the individual in a way that it never before had been. Love, which occupied a place in Christendom that it did not occupy in any other society or belief system, blossomed in new acts of mercy and hope. Philosophically in the West, we also see the burst of conflict between the continental rationalists exemplified by René Descartes and opposed by the British empiricists, who then faced challenges by Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hegel, and the diabolical Karl Marx.
The above developments and achievements of Western civilization must be exposed systematically and regularly to our students, but instead, many of the above events are being ignored, downplayed, or systematically criticized.
We have reached a point where the pseudo-intellectuals with their anti-Western bent gratuitously and ignorantly critique our society. We have reached a point where Pres. Barack Obama could say with a straight face that racism is almost genetic. He said, "The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination [is] in almost every institution of our lives. You know, that casts a long shadow and that's still part of our DNA that's passed on." Investor's Business Daily properly noted of this remark, "[I]f racism is in our DNA, it can no more be cured or changed by education or good will than the shape of our nose or chin, a proclivity to cancer or the color of our eyes or skin[.]" The paper then asked, how, then, can it be that Obama received well over 60 million votes in two different elections?
At the same time as racism is considered implacable by the esteemed Mr. Obama, he "evolved" regarding the redefinition of marriage. Similarly, are we to think he "evolved" (Charles Darwin is freaking out) with respect to Iran as being a part of the "axis of evil" and negotiated the return of their frozen bank accounts – accounts that had remained frozen by five previous presidents, both Democratic and Republican – without receiving anything in return?
Whiteness and white privilege, male hegemony, homophobic attitudes, exploitation of and disparagement of women, binary gender obsessions (gender apartheid), exploitation of the masses by the top 1% or top 0.1%, disparagement of non-European peoples (non-whites), and Islamophobia have, according to our society's hysterical critics, been hiding behind the so-called political-economic-intellectual achievements of Western civilization. Behind all this hatred of Western civilization one can hear Jean-Jacques Rousseau's complaint: "Man is free but everywhere in chains." The latest platform of the Socialist Party contains 248 bullet points of items that need correction in American society. It is a scattershot blast of complaints whose authors hope to attract some discouraged citizens with some of its criticism.
So now we end this article with the issue of the day: how secure do our borders need to be? The emergence of the nation-state is another one of the achievements of Western civilization. Inherent in the nation-state concept is the concept of the border. U.S. border security should be seen in this wider context. If there is a border, it must be controlled and defended. That defense is tantamount to defending Western civilization. The USA has been generous in its immigration policies, but the attacks on our border have become more sophisticated and relentless. We need to finish the work on a border wall that was begun in a bipartisan way in 2006. The border must send a message that we are invincible – just like Western civ.